SINGAPORE 60's: ANDY's POP MUSIC INFLUENCE IS MY PERSONAL MUSIC AND MEMORY TRAIL. PICTURES TELL STORIES BUT I DO NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO YOU TUBE VIDEOS, AUDIO TRACKS OR IMAGES. THEY HAVE BEEN UPLOADED FOR EDUCATIONAL AND ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES SO INFORM ME IF COPYRIGHTED AND THEY WILL BE DELETED. ANDY LIM (NOVEMBER, 2008).

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Andy's Rockabilly Hit List: Roy Orbison, Hollies, Joan Jett, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry


Joan Jett with Chuck Berry and Roy Orbison (above)

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A Personal Choice Of 5 Top Rock And Roll Songs

It is not surprising that some of my choice of rock and roll songs are not top hits and some of them may not be standard fare with our Singapore listeners. The artistes themselves are famous but are the songs as popular as the artistes who performed them?

These songs are truly hot, ones that most fans are aware of. Well, I may be wrong.  So here they are ladies and gentlemen, five songs that provide the rockabilly that many listeners can connect with, powerhouse voices, imaginative guitar intros, the best rolling bass that you can hear and riffs that are superfluous. 

The performance on stage is electrifying especially with Elvis and Chuck Berry if you watch the YouTube videos and the accompaniment is out of this world. Classic rock and roll that will live forever.

This write-up itself cannot survive on its own in the pages of a book. It can only be alive on a blog. With YouTube.
1. Heartbreak Radio: Roy Orbison

A near unknown Orbison number, I asked at least 10 people and only 3 of them know this song, and these are musicians. Again, it's a personal choice but truly one of the best rock songs I've heard. 

Pretty Woman has been so commercialised even before the movie. Heartbreak Radio shows an original Orbison with his guts exposed. You haven't seen what's behind the sunglasses until you hear this one.

The album was released after his death in 1988 and Heartbreak Radio is on side one, track two. King of Hearts came out in 1992 on Long Play too. Another favourite of mine, Crying, is in this compilation.
2. Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress: The Hollies.

This song is from 1972 and performed by British rock group The Hollies. Released originally on an album in the UK, it was put out as a single and sold nearly 4 million copies in the US and the world. 

Like CCR music, it's supposed to be swamp rock style,  leaning more towards 60's rock than 50's rhythm and blues. The introduction with its heavy drum and bass sounds depict the sensuality of this long cool woman with her mysterious black dress, 5'9 and beautiful tall. Like Hollies songs, smooth, suave.
3. I Hate Myself For Loving You: Joan Jett and The Blackhearts

She is the over average hard rocker, still around with 36 million viewers on YouTube with this particular song. An old fan, I forgot about Joan Jett when I went into middle-of-the-road stuff. 

Local singer Wendi Koh, during our Rolling Good Times episode together with the Silver Strings at MediaCorp, sang this song. I realised I had missed out on JJ and started listening again.

A track from, Up Your Alley album, I Hate Myself For Loving You, was created in 1988. It's been one of the best rock songs sung by a lady. At Billboard Hot, it was #8. To me, it's #1. Best. Mick Taylor, former Rolling Stones guitarist played the guitar solo.

Fangs bared; she's the best and the only rock and roll lady on my list.
4. Polk Salad Annie: Elvis Presley

Although it's 1969 original by Tony Joe White, this song never came across to me as a hit until Elvis sang it live in his concerts. And no one could beat Elvis when he used his ten megaton energy to let loose another swamp rock performance that only The King could create. 

Las Vegas was the above venue to introduce Annie. The Pelvis was at his best. Slim, powered with civic sensuality and eager to please, this video says it all. Audience members Elvis shook hands with mentioned that he was shivering and wet after the performance.

Suspicious Minds made its debut in Vegas but Polk Salad Annie was the ultimate to any Presley number. It's my choice anyway.  I thought only Elvis picked it up from the swampland of Louisiana, the success of this song I mean. He recorded it and the only version I love. There are other covers too including one Tom Jones but Elvis was the one rough and tough enough with Annie.
5. Rock and Roll Music: Chuck Berry

I've included this song because I thought Chuck Berry deserves a mention on this list. No African American singer and they were the ones who introduced us to this genre of music.

Covered by a long list of pop stars, Rock and Roll Music still belongs to Mr Berry. It is a 1957 recorded hit and the oldest on my list. One of the most popular compositions by Berry, it has been sung by so many from Billy Haley to Beatles, Beach Boys and Bryan Adams. 

It has been included in the list of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll but not in the 1001 Songs Before You Die List but it wasn't. Enjoy the songs if you haven't done so. 
Again, this is a personal choice. 😊
Do you have your own list? Please tell me. 

Elvis Presley and The Hollies (below)

Google Images and YouTube Videos.

Read another article about what rockabilly really means...

18 comments:

Henri Gann said...

Good first writeup on " Rockabilly Hits."
Congratulations Andy !

CHARLIE YAP (BASSIST FOR LOCOMOTION) said...

Your blog selection is great! All songs are nice.

FABIAN FOO (VIDEO CAM ENTHUSIAST) said...

Peggy March: I Will Follow Him. One of the greatest hits in 1963and re-recorded in 2013.

MICHAEL BANGAR (RHYTHMIST SILVER STRINGS said...

Hi Bro Andy, please check out this American Trio from the late 70's made up of Brian Setzer (guitar and vocals), Lee Rocker (double bass) and Slim Jim Phantom (drums) - THE STRAYCATS.

Phew! What a rockabilly band.

Also the Brian Setzer Orchestra.

Also Andy, Carl Perkins - The King of Rockabilly (who wrote Blue Suede Shoes, Honey Don't, Matchbox and many others.) He is one of the Beatles heroes.

VICTOR WOO (THE TRAILERS - LEAD GUITAR) said...

Of course, there are others, but good choice!

LAURENCE LIM ('GRANDFATHER' FOR 'YOURE THE BOY' YOUTUBE VIDEO said...

Andy, you are the authority on such things. Well done! Kudos for your painstaking effort to start this blog. Without this blog, Singapore music history will just remain a history n thanks to advanced technology too.

Too many to list but the group with the best rock n roll beat is BILL HALEY'S Rock Around The Clock. It was their music that inspired me to learn rock n roll.

MT said...

Glad to see you're having fun. Keep it up.

FACEBOOK ANDY said...

List of names who like the Prelude posting.

Leslie Wilson Joseph
Bert Fern
Eddie Ng
Lange Brunei
Philip Chew
Jennie Law
Tin Leong Lim
Chen David
Rodsh Xie Tian
Rose Khoo
Fred Ching
Davychandavy Chan
Raymond Cho
Tony Ng
Jon Goh
Tan Soo Khoon
Benadict Jackson
Irene Hoe
Merlin Lim
John Cher
Ann Rowena Lim
Kwandy Yao
Jimmy Appudurai-chua
Mohammed Ali
Hanche Presley
John Whittle

MR X (RADIO DJ WILL XAVIER) said...

Not necessarily in order...

Rock This Town – Stray Cats
Be Bop A Lula – Gene Vincent
Ooby Dooby – Roy Orbison's version
Blue suede shoes – Carl Perkins
C’mon Everybody – Eddie Cochran

Okie..that’s fine Andy. and can I thank u for
keeping the spirit alive... Cheers!

TAN SOO KHOON said...

Wow! 5 songs, very difficult to short list but here goes:

Jailhouse Rock
That's Alright Mama,
Peggy Sue
It's So Easy
Rock and Roll Is King

Ha ha! It's difficult to list 'favourites' when you are confined to 5 only. Let's say these are 5 I enjoy very much.

HORACE WEE (PROFESSIONAL GUITARIST said...

That's Alright Mama - Elvis
Baby Let's Play House - Elvis
Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
Be Bop Be Lula - Gene Vincent
Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran
Ooby Dooby - Roy Orbison

JERRY FERNANDEZ (FRONTS THE NEU FACES) said...

TUSH ZZ TOP
ROCK AND ROLL IS KING ELO
GREAT BALLS OF FIRE JERRY LEE LEWIS
LUCILLE LITTLE RICHARD
THAT'S ALRIGHT MAMA ELVIS PRESLEY

RICHARD KHAN (DRUMMER OCTOBER CHERRIES) said...

TWO HOUND DOGS BILL HALEY
IT'S UP TO YOU RICKY NELSON
40 DAYS CLIFF RICHARD
9 TIMES OUT OF 10 CLIFF RICHARD
DREAM BABY ROY ORBISON

Henri Gann said...

When Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore and Bill Black recorded That's All Right Mama and Mystery Train, Rockabilly was invented in Memphis
( history-of-rock.com )
Elements of a Rockabilly music.
* Performers with a country background
* Definitely an Upright bass played in a slapped manner
* Using Scales and Riffs Chords with the Guitar and preferably with a Finger-Picking Style and Using a heavy echo effect Amp
* Finally A Strong Rhythm and Beat
Happy Swinging and Jiving !!!

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all for the replies, comments and Hit List. I appreciate all readers baring their soul with this posting.

Yes, I learnt something about ROCKABILLY. And all your feedback has made me richer as a simple blog writer and music lover.

Horace Wee will soon post his take on ROCKABILLY music.

AUDIE NG (LEADER, BASSIST 'SILVER STRINGS') said...

crazy little things called love - queen
bohemian rhapsody - queen
still got the blues - gerry moore
burning love elvis presley
purple haze jimi hendrix
sultans of swing - dire straits

ALLAN THOMPSON (MAIN CONTRIBUTOR FROM RAF CHANGI 60'S) said...

I enjoyed your Rockabilly feature and would like to suggest that if your readers listen to Billy Fury's early album, "The Sound Of Fury", there are several songs which are pure British rockabilly, and all were written by him, some under a pseudonym.

JANE DICK MANITOBA CANADA said...

Hi Andy,

These songs took me on a wonderful trip down memory lane. Particularly like the Hollies "Long Cool Woman".

Hope all is well with you and yours.

Best always.